PepsiCo targets 100% renewable electricity globally

PepsiCo has confirmed it has joined the Climate Group's RE100 initiative, pledging to source 100% renewable electricity across its operations by 2030, a move that could reduce the manufacturing giant's carbon footprint by 2.5 million tonnes.

PepsiCo targets 100% renewable electricity globally

By joining the RE100, PepsiCo will target 100% renewable electricity use across its company-owned and controlled operations by 2030 and across its third-party operations by 2040.

PepsiCo estimates that reaching the target by 2040 will reduce around 2.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of taking more than 500,000 cars off the road for a year.

“With the devastating effects of climate change being felt around the world, and the global food system under significant strain, accelerated action is needed,” PepsiCo’s chief sustainability officer Jim Andrew said.

“We know the responsibility that comes with our size and scale, so transitioning PepsiCo’s global business operations to 100% renewable electricity is the right step forward to deliver meaningful impact as we continue to advance our sustainability agenda.”

PepsiCo currently powers facilities using a mix of renewable electricity of 18 countries, of which 9 are accounted for by 100% renewable electricity.

The company recently confirmed it was on track to procure 100% renewable electricity in the US. PepsiCo estimates that once its shift to renewable electricity in the US is complete, company-wide Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions will be reduced by 20% against a 2015 baseline.

In order to meet its 100% goal, PepsiCo says it is investing in a “diversified portfolio” of solutions, including rooftop solar at some of its largest manufacturing and office facilities, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), Virtual Power Purchase Agreements and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). PPAs and VPPAs support the development of new renewable generation capacity, while RECS support existing arrays and are third-party verified.

A similar approach has already been used by PepsiCo to switch to 100% renewable energy across its operations in the UK, Greece, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Poland. It is also proving successful in Mexico, where PepsiCo’s operations ran on 76% wind power in 2018.  

In total, PepsiCo is set to source around 56% of its global electricity demand from renewables by the end of 2020.

Commenting on the renewables target, the Climate Group’s head of RE100 Sam Kimmins said: “By transforming their global business operations to renewable electricity, PepsiCo is demonstrating a strong commitment to combat climate change, whilst underlining the business case for renewables. By investing in the development of new solar and wind farms around the world to meet their target, PepsiCo is making a really tangible contribution to accelerating the clean energy transition.”

PepsiCo notably introduced a new sustainability strategy in 2016, with fresh goals around renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste, emissions and sustainable sourcing, among other topics.

The company, this year, joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge, alongside a host of other companies. The pledge commits PepsiCo to set science-based emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C pathway. It also commits signatories to develop a long-term net-zero emissions strategy by 2050 at the latest.

Matt Mace

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